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July 20, 2006

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» Roundup of stuff: blogroll, comics from Waffle
I am feeling the pull of the political blogs again, for the first time since the US Presidential elections of 2004. I've been reading them a lot, and have added Red State Son, The Whiskey Bar and Wisse Words to... [Read More]

» Roundup of stuff: blogroll, comics from Waffle
I am feeling the pull of the political blogs again, for the first time since the US Presidential elections of 2004. I've been reading them a lot, and have added Red State Son, The Whiskey Bar and Wisse Words to... [Read More]

» Whither Nihilism? from Radio Left
The Liberal Avenger Attention: Its probably fair to say that none of the specific ideas in this post are original to me. Not only do I stand on... [Read More]

Comments

I thought Emmanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.

Sounds like a nihilist to me :-)

I suppose I could see a dogmatist's arguing that Kant is a nihilist because he denies the possibility of ultimate knowledge of free will, immortality, etc.

You just have to come at Kant from a *much* more dogmatic frame of mind than most of us are accustomed to. Imagine yourself, say, a Jesuit in the year 1816?

Not that Muir isn't an Objectivist dumbass, of course. A Jesuit in the year 1816 would probably find the bikini-clad redhead an example of Kantian nihilism.

(Recycled from my LGM comment.)

Good name for a band, though. I like Hilzoy's logo.

there must be at least one band out there called "The Nihilists" already, if only as a Big Lebowski reference.

Well, I knew there was some relationship between philosophy and current events.

Reading those cartoons is like stepping into a dissociative mind. Schopenhauer and the New York Times?

Anderson: he denies the possibility of what he would call theoretical knowledge of free will and immortality -- i.e., knowledge based on experience, or on its necessary structure. But he also says that the moral law reveals our freedom, immortality, and the existence of God.

Usually Chris Muir just makes me go WTF?, but this time he actually got a laugh out of me. Not the laugh he was looking for, admittedly, but a laugh. Because *of course* a woman's butt is such an appropriate way to point out that someone is "behind the times"! Not to mention the Kantian nihilism explanation, which is just comedy gold.

Sorry about your exploded head, hil, but sometimes that's the price of comedy.

"...one of LG&M's analogies...."

I'm surely a dope, but who? What? Possibly you're term of arting here?

Leninist anarchism ... Muirian thoughtful, well-informed commentary.

Oh I dunno, I'd say there's a certain quality, a certain je ne sais quoi, that all those phrases capture rather well.

As a former graphic designer, the thing that struck me about those panels was the deeply ambiguous (and therefore ad-like) representation of sexuality. Muir could make a killing as a commercial illustrator for condom boxes I think. So are those two characters married, or long-time lovers? Is the guy gay? If he's not gay and they're not bored with each other then why is he masturbating while the woman is trying to get his attention? Or is he some sort of casanova, for whose attentions all the ladies must compete?

Ah, you earlier referred to "Lawyers, Guns, and Money."

Sorry.

Lawyers, Guns & Money, Gary.

too late. danged dial-up...

Like many over-intellectual teenagers, I read all of Ayn Rand's books at that age. Now when I see a young person reading Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead, I try to think of some way of getting it away from them. This is by way of saying it's been a long time since I read them. But if I remember correctly, she refers to Kant as "the philosopher of death" at least once. (tangentially: I am grateful to her for introducing me to Vermeer, although the thing she thought was Vermeer's great flaw--his depicting the mundane and everyday--has always been one of my favorite things about his art. She also, if I remember correctly, saw Zola as the embodiment of everything wrong in art, with a metaphysics and epistemology of pure, unrelieved evil(!) I was reminded by that when seeing that Anthony Bourdain recommended one of Zola's novels for its description of the Paris markets.)

Wasn't Ayn Rand a reliable guide to wild sex orgies, I mean, as long as she took the other participants on one at a time and not collectively?

I think Anthony Bourdain and Ayn Rand would get along famously ... especially during orgies.

In the summer of '78, "Send Lawyers, Guns, And Money" was our refrain.

Just a joke. But an empowering one.

Anderson: he denies the possibility of what he would call theoretical knowledge of free will and immortality -- i.e., knowledge based on experience, or on its necessary structure. But he also says that the moral law reveals our freedom, immortality, and the existence of God.

Sure, and our Jesuit might actually buy that, suitably theologized. (Shouldn't pick on the Jesuits--reading too much Stendhal, I guess.) (Tho I think the RCC position is still that the existence of God is indeed provable from experience and logic w/out "limiting reason to make room for faith.")

But I don't think it's obviously silly to equate "knowledge" with the theoretical knowledge addressed in the 1st Critique, and to construe the "postulates" of the 2d Critique as an inadequate substitute for said knowledge.

On the lighter side, Kant at Woodstock would probably make for some interesting stories...

hey, come on. Someone had to speak out against the evil of Kantian nihilism.

Next up: stern denunciations of Darwinian creationism, Pyrrhonian dogmatism, Marxist capitalism, and Berkeleyan materialism.

while "lawyers, guns & money" has a better beat, we laywers pretty much insist on the order being "guns, money & lawyers".

whoever wrote "the pen is mightier than the sword" never tried to outshoot an AK-47 with a writ of attainder. i'll wait for the shooting to stop, thanks very much.

and speaking of lawyers, glenn greenwald is getting a lot of blogging today.

Muir is a moron. He's trying so hard to be the wingnut answer to Doonesbury, I almost want to pat him on the head and gently praise him, like I would a child who'd just presented me with the latest way he's randomly crammed four Lego bricks together and called it an Aircraft carrier.

The problem is that he just really isn't funny. Lacking Trudeau's subtlety and humor, his strips read like Republican Chick tracts, reeking of author voice and pseudo-intellectualism. They're right wing blog screeds with pictures.

Pyrrhonian dogmatism

Well, who *sez* we can't know? Huh?Sapere aude!

--Oops, more nihilism ... Kantian? or Horatian?

radish:

Also, notice how in the two strips the man is in exactly the same position, and appears to be talking to the woman over his shoulder -- as though he's turned his back on her writhings. You're right that it would make a pretty good ad, in the "WTF is going on here? sex, I guess" genre.

I thought Mallard Fillmore was the Right's answer to Doonesbury?

Mallard Fillmore is actually funny every couple of weeks, which makes it a masterpiece compared to that Muir thing.

Can we somehow legislate that you can't go around damning things according to their perceived relationship with philosophers you have never read? I overheard someone the other day talking about Spinoza in terms that made it clear she was talking about Deleuze talking about Spinoza and wouldn't know Spinoza from a yucca root. Why doesn't someone stop these people? Kant has books readily available in the library, and the letters do form readable words.

And besides, wouldn't the Founding Fathers have been more influenced by Hume?

Atheist Thomism? Anthony Kenny's an agnostic Thomist. close enough?

Kant has books readily available in the library, and the letters do form readable words.

The same has been said of Hegel, but I'm not sure what happens to the words when they're formed into sentences ...

"Selbstverschuldete Unmuendigkeit" indeed. Oh well.

Yeah, Anderson. From my experience, even self-identified Hegelians only talk about Hegel in the terms of other people who've written about Hegel.

Actually it is appropriate to refer to "Kantian nihilism." The first philosopher to use the term "nihilism" (Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi) used it in a reductio argument as being the result of Kant's transcendental philosophy. However, I don't know if Jacobi's arguments against Kant are what Muir is trying to reference here.

we laywers pretty much insist on the order being "guns, money & lawyers".

But there's a method to that madness, Francis. ;)

Joshua's got it right--you have to steep yourself in a *really* reactionary worldview to appreciate "Kantian nihilism."

Sorry to keep commenting piecemeal, but this leapt out at me in the Stanford article that Joshua linked:

In our own times, Leo Strauss did his PhD on Jacobi.

Enough said! ;)

Sounds like Rand thought the problem with Woodstock was that the public health regulations were inadequate.

OK: Jacobi gets a pass on this one, being brilliant. But his reading of Kant was, let's say, eccentric. And what are the odds that Muir was relying on his knowledge of Jacobi, given the rest of what he said about Kant?

"The problem is that he just really isn't funny."

Funny is subjective, and not declarative or ideological or objective.

I mostly disagree with him, but I find him funny some percentage of the time. Much of the times, boring. Many times, wrong.

Basically, declaring any given person or subject "funny" or not doesn't tend to be well grounded. There's no objective grounding in "funny," I repeat.

Claims otherwise: funny.

And, mostly, denouncing "funny" isn't pretty, and tends to be rorschachy.

Getting worked up over cartoons: generally silly and ugly.

But it's all subjective. Which is the point.

Gary Farber: objectively anti-subjectivity.

Gary Farber: objectively anti-subjectivity.

My darkest suspicions are realized.

And what are the odds that Muir was relying on his knowledge of Jacobi, given the rest of what he said about Kant?

Oh, doubtless he was regurgitating Randianism. It's just that "Kantian nihilism" is such an endearingly hopeless phrase, one feels inspired to tinker with it and make it work, like a rusted lawnmower somebody's left on the curb to be trashed.

Andreson: point taken. Now try to rehabilitate 'Britney Spearsian profundity'.

Gary, I know what you mean, but maybe the argument against the funny here is that one shouldn't have to be ideologically aligned with someone to even remotely titter at the jokes. There is plenty of right-wing humor that is funny, but these are comics that require the reader to be sexist, ignorant, AND right-wing to laugh at. "I Kant"? "Behind the times"? I'm sure, like you, that someone is laughing at this, but only given extremely strictly-defined conditions of partisanship, sexism, and pseudo-intellectual poseurism.

"Gary Farber: objectively anti-subjectivity."

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them all.

In the darkness, we will bind you.

(Man, it's hot; could we please have some darkness?)

'Britney Spearsian profundity' -

    I always call my cousin because we're so close. We're almost like sisters, and we're also close because our moms are sisters.

    I always listen to 'NSYNC's Tearin' Up My Heart. It reminds me to wear a bra.

    I performed at Mom and Dad's party when I was four. Oh my gosh, I was singing a Madonna song and I peed myself.

profund. no ?

profundity === great depth

Britney Spearsian profundity == pop stars with (monty python ref.) vast tracts of land.

i have a vague memory of a standup routine by a comedienne about the size of women's breasts. her point was that while men perceive that the larger a woman's breasts the stupider she is, in fact, the larger a woman's breasts the stupider the men get.

Britney Spears profundity == the genius of a woman who has no apparent talent to make the men who see her so stupid as to make her enormously wealthy.

so, hil, how did i do?

"There is plenty of right-wing humor that is funny, but these are comics..."

Well, didn't say a word about the two strips in question, y'know. Not a word. Sigh. Wasn't my topic. Didn't address it. Etc.

I really need to buy a hat that says "and as I digress," or something.

I'd think everyone would notice, by now, that that's what I do, but, no, that's my fault.

As I digressed....

pop stars with (monty python ref.) vast tracts of land.

    I did not have implants, I just had a growth spurt.

    -B. Spears

Funny is subjective, and not declarative or ideological or objective.

Whereas pedantry is typically tedious and not especially helpful.

Basically, declaring any given person or subject "funny" or not doesn't tend to be well grounded.

Next up: Gary explains how declaring any given person or subject "obnoxious" or not isn't well grounded because everyone's definition of obnoxious is subjective. IOW: true, but also irrelevant.

Gary, in seriousness: I find your habit of zeroing in on the low hanging fruit in people's comments and offering pedantic criticisms on small elements that are largely irrelevant to the whole of their comment /incredibly/ obnoxious and disruptive. You might think you're offering some kind of unique insight, but from my end it comes across like replying to someone who says the sun is going down with "actually, the earth is orbiting the sun".

Of /course/ "funny" is subjective. But there are aspects of humorous material that contribute to its humor value that are less so. If you'd looked beyond the single sentence of mine that you quoted, you might've even stumbled across specific issues with his writing style that I pointed out.

Britney Spearsian profundity rehabilated (via Bookslut)

what are the odds that Muir was relying on his knowledge of Jacobi, given the rest of what he said about Kant?

The connection's pretty easy for the layman to stumble upon, actually.

Kant -> Nebular Hypothesis -> heavy metal -> Def Leppard -> Rock of Ages -> Gunter glieben glauchen glauben -> Faith -> Jacobi

Bookslut *rules*, btw. Bookmark the blog if you haven't. Michael Schaub makes me laugh out loud at least once a week. (See Farber caveats above.)

Also, OTB commenters work themselves into a tizzy over the correct spelling of Ockham/Occam ... a nominalist. Pretty funny, as philosophical humor goes ... (see above).

"Gary, in seriousness: I find your habit of zeroing in on the low hanging fruit in people's comments and offering pedantic criticisms on small elements that are largely irrelevant to the whole of their comment /incredibly/ obnoxious and disruptive."

Well, sorry about that. To an extent. I certainly don't mean to be disruptive, but I'm als not going to be able to ever stop noting that which I note. I don't want it to be at all obnoxious, but if that's the general feeling, I'll leave.

I'm sorry you don't like it, but I grew up in a way where folks mostly exchanged that sort of stuff as mutual amusement. I'm sorry that it doesn't work for you that way.

Beyond that, well, I'm easily persuadable at present that I suck.

So, “the will to power” determines the “categorical imperative” ?

“Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law”, since "there is nothing left of Being as such"?

Sounds like fun!

John: I am dazzled.

And who knew Britney Spears had a website? And why did she misspell Tyger?

Catsy, Gary, group hug, okay?

Yes, Gary can be pedantic. (Probably moreso when he's blue?)

But no one is forcing Catsy to read any pedantic comments by Gary ... right?

Catsy: ...but from my end it comes across like replying to someone who says the sun is going down with "actually, the earth is orbiting the sun".

Actually, the earth is rotating. *ducks*

Gary Farber: Beyond that, well, I'm easily persuadable at present that I suck.

Of course, suckiness is subjective...

Well of course you suck, but then you're in good company. Some of us suck more than others, but I try to keep my personal life out of the discussion most of the time. ;)

And can you be annoying? Well of course. But that is part of why you fit in here. The real question is, do you add to the conversation more than you detract from it. Usually, yes. So stick around.

On a more general note, lets all take a deep breath.

...

...

...

Was that cleansing for you? Me neither.

That tiger pictue reminds me of the bit from _Grizzly Man_ where Herzog says, over the film of a grizzly's face, "I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder . . . this blank stare shows only the half-bored interest in food." -> " . . . the half-bored interest in hearing `Oops I Did It Again' yet one more time . . . "

The real question is, do you add to the conversation more than you detract from it. Usually, yes. So stick around.

wait, that's a rule - i have to contribute more than i detract ?

rats.

I should probably note that my exasperation with Gary was not a plea for him to leave, but rather that he try really hard to stop doing the aforementioned annoying things.

Well the real question is why do I so often ask questions yet still end the sentence with a period.

But that is a different problem.

"I should probably note that my exasperation with Gary was not a plea for him to leave, but rather that he try really hard to stop doing the aforementioned annoying things."

My life tends to be one long extention of wishing I knew how to be less annoying, without completely suppressing my personality, frankly.

I'm fascinated by digressive points. There it is. I see it, I'm fascinated. I want to talk about it.

I have a long list of other annoying qualities, which I decline to bring up at the moment.

This is, incidentally, pretty much why Andrew and I stopped talking for about a year and a half or more.

Ooh, thunderstorm gathering here. I lurve thunderstorms.

Some people hate the thunder and lightning. I love it.

In about two minutes, the sun went out, the wind is sweeping, and the thunder is roaring. It sweeps, the wind does.

I adore it.

The sky is loud. The weather thingie on my blog suddenly rises and says "severe weather alert!"

I hadn't noticed.

And the hail will come in seconds.

See, these strips, for me, provide a rubber-meets-the-road kind of moment, one which I've also been experiencing at lost of different blogs.

Either the person in question actually, truly believes, in their heart of hearts, that the New York Times and its publisher and editors are genuinely indifferent as to the whether the US is a liberal (in the classical sense of the term) democratic republic or a theocratic fundamentalist Islamic state, in which case said person is a raving lunatic; or he or she truly does not believe it, but will repeatedly and slanderously say so for political effect, in which case said person is not only a raving lunatic, but perniciously evil. There's not, really, a middle ground there.

Ockham/Occam ... a nominalist.

Now that is objectively funny (though I should mention that there is no way would I have realized it was funny without the generous assistance of folks more learned than myself.)

Well the real question is why do I so often ask questions yet still end the sentence with a period.

Sebastian, why do you do that. Is it that you don't really want an answer, or something else perhaps.

Gary, re whether your pedantry is excessive, I agree that it can be irritating, but I personally just as soon you err on the side of pedantry, in order to reduce the chance that you might decide not to share some relevant factual observation for fear of offending.

Or is there zero chance of that anyway? ;-)

Jeez Phil--maybe he was just writing a comic strip.

They're allowed to exaggerate sometimes. It's what they do. And then we get to mock them too. See, it's a game--we all get to have fun.

"Get Fuzzy" is a comic strip. "Day By Day" is a tendentious political diatribe.

There's not, really, a middle ground there.

how about "hasn't put much thought into what the words mean, but likes the attention he gets by repeating them" as a third option ?

Stupidity and vanity as a substitute for insanity and venality? Sure, why not. I'm feeling charitable.

I linked Jacobi over at MY's TPM last night; but I got a h/t from LGM comments.

I need Crooked Timber and Kotsko to weigh in on this.

"But he also says that the moral law reveals our freedom, immortality, and the existence of God." ...hilzoy

"reveals" is interesting. I know Kant accepted the possibility of revelation, and I think even mysticism. And I have been thinking all night about how a "necessary" postulate differes from a "postulate".

Being a Kierkeggaard and Nietzsche fan, I probably take "Kantian nihilism" more seriously than many here, and more seriously than I should. Adam Kotsko's Weblog often discusses, umm, post-rationalist political philosophy or critiques of the Enlightenment. I have read the Zizek threads w/o understanding, I fear.

yes, yes, but tendentious political diatribe can come in the form of comics. And when it does, we should acknowledge that its form allows it the liberty to say more outrageous things than, say, the President.

I have read the Zizek threads w/o understanding, I fear.

No, no, that's a *good* thing.

And agreed re: Nietzsche & Kant.

I'm almost more thrown off by the Schopenhauer thing. When I saw "Kantian nihilism" I was able to guess how it originated pretty well. Okay, some typically ignorant stuff about moral relativism, but if you just mutter about moral relativism you sound like, well, a crank who has no idea what he's talking about, but if you attach a well-known philosopher's name, people will be really impressed. And 'Kant' makes sense, because people recognize the name and are vaguely aware that he was around a while ago (in other words 'Sartrean nihilism' or whatever might not cut it). I didn't know about the Rand thing, which is just too perfect, but I think I pretty well guessed the gist of it.

But Schopenhauer, I mean, even aside from the whole "19th century" thing, there are probably, what? six people in all of history who have actually read Schopenhauer? And twenty, tops, who have actually heard of him. I mean, I have only the vaguest second-hand notion of what he wrote, because I'll be damned if I'm reading his 1200 page book just to better contextualize Nietzsche or whatever. But why mutter "Kant, Schopenhauer, later" instead of "Kant, Confucius" or something?

Slightly OT but a propos pedantry, should I be pleased that the NYT is also willing to call Hizbollah guerrillas, or should I be mortified that I misspelled guerilla?

bob m: 'reveals', in the sentence I wrote, doesn't have the same sense as 'revelation' (=divine revelation.) Divine revelation would be God telling you something you wouldn't know otherwise, e.g. that your wife, though old, would bear a son and your descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. In the case of freedom, the fact of our being able to derive the moral law from our pure practical reason shows us that we are free, but not in the God-to-Abraham sense.

six people in all of history who have actually read Schopenhauer? And twenty, tops, who have actually heard of him.

I'm probably revealing something that I shouldn't, but I'm a fan of Schopenhauer, in one of those embarassingly auto-didactical ways that would probably get my butt kicked by someone who seriously studied him. But hey, that's probably true about everything I know.

And twenty, tops, who have actually heard of [Schopenhauer]

Au contraire! Thanks to the philosophy faculty of the University of Wooloomooloo, everyone's heard of him!

"Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table
David Hume could out-consume
Schopenhauer and Hegel
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as sloshed as Schlegel
There's nothing Nietszche couldn't teach ya
'Bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates himself was permanently pissed . . . "

I like Muir because he validates my hatred for anyone younger and more stylish than me.

Schopenhauer writes very amusingly at times, if you can get yourself into a pleasantly embittered state of mind.

I'm a fan of Schopenhauer

LJ comes out!

Me, I've never been able to get past part one of World as Will & Idea/Representation, despite having picked up the Everyman's abridgement, even. (I do *not* buy abridged books, as a rule--paranoia I guess.) I feel like it would be worthwhile to see firsthand what Schope is up to, but can't make myself do it.

Are you a fan of World, the essays, or the whole Schopenhauerian shebang?

"...six people in all of history who have actually read Schopenhauer?"

Oh, the "World as Will and Representation" is a beautifully written and structured book.
I was unbalanced at the time, but I cried at the end. I think it is considered, or was, because the academic establishment has moved away from its possible appeal, one of the great literary achievements in philosophy.

I read it of course, as part of my Nietzsche study. But having read a lot of Suzuki, I was open to the message (although this was only my reading, and may be idiotic). I see a lot of the East in Schopenhauer, Hinduism and Buddhism, lifting of veils of Maya and stop grasping and all, and the intellectual/emotional/spiritual process of reading Welt involves straining the reason to the breaking point and providing a release. IOW, like the Tractatus, the form illuminates as much as the content.

Damn, I am inarticulate. But for a Western rationalist, it would be very high on my recommendations as an intro to Eastern Philosophy. It can change the way you perceive. Slightly higher would be Finnegans Wake.

Emerson showed up! He's the man to connect Jacobi, nihilism, and the "exception" to Carl Schmitt.

On you, granduddy.

Stanford on Schopenhauer

"Despite its general precedents within the philosophical family of double-aspect theories, Schopenhauer's particular characterization of the world as will, is nonetheless novel and daring. It is also frightening and pandemonic: he maintains that the world as it is in itself (sometimes he crucially adds, “for us”) is an endless striving and blind impulse with no end in view, devoid of knowledge, lawless, absolutely free, entirely self-determining and almighty. Within Schopenhauer's vision of the world as will, there is no God to be comprehended, and the world is conceived of as being utterly meaningless. When anthropomorphically considered, the world is represented as being in a condition of eternal frustration, as it endlessly strives for nothing in particular, and as it goes essentially nowhere. It is a world far beyond any ascriptions of good and evil."

Seriously, the Upanishads rewritten in the language of German Idealism. I love the guy.

I do actually want to read Schopenhauer, and imagine I will read World some time in the next couple of years, though for now it's one of those things that consistently loses out to higher priorities. The fact that he is bitter (and sometimes really childishly nasty) is, for me, good because it can make things interesting, plus I can only feel solidarity with lonely kvetchers.

And Bob, the connection to Buddhism is something that comes up in possibly every summary/essay I've read about Schopenhauer, e.g. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schopenhauer/>here, so you're not alone there.

dammit

...there are probably, what? six people in all of history who have actually read Schopenhauer? And twenty, tops, who have actually heard of him.

He's the one that begins with an S.

I actually own some Heidegger, but haven't yet penetrated it past...oh, sorry, getting all Ayatollah Khomenei on you. Oh, and I've got a bio of him that has been somewhat more deeply inspected.

Also have a bio of Wittgenstein that I've read approximately 2/3 of the way through. Guess this makes me roughly three times the philosopher that your average Joe is, or somewhat less than one hundredth of one percent of hilzoy.

Are you a fan of World, the essays, or the whole Schopenhauerian shebang?

The World came to me when I was intensely intererested in Buddhism, and while being immersed in that, some one passed 38 Ways to win an argument, which struck a youthful me as the perfect blend of seriousness and frivolousness. Sort of a Perfect Storm. Not sure if I would have been so interested in him had I known more about some aspects of his life, but it is those youthful 'ah, this is the Truth' sort of moments that one looks back on and is simultaneously embarassed and nostalgic

those youthful 'ah, this is the Truth' sort of moments that one looks back on and is simultaneously embarassed and nostalgic

i had one of those with The Doors... when i was like 12.

Slarti: if you manage to read Heidegger, you're a better man than I.

But then, you'd kind of have to be...

Emerson showed up!

Pass him some of that calamari.

oh, yuck! you mean that guy is masturbating?

I saw those strips several times--at lefarkins first--and it never even occurred to me to read his posture that way.

Until certain posters up above suggested it.

Man, that just makes this Muir guy creepy, as well as a moron.

Or are the commenters just seeing stuff that ain't there? What do I know?

Maybe it's a gestalt-shift thing? Votes on how many think he's beating off a duck, and how many think he's beating off a rabbit?

hil: according to a recent posting by PZ Myers, there's a lot less of a difference than one might suppose. apparently for a lot of gestation, we all just have a fifth bump.

Wait, I see the true meaning Muir conceals, with Britneyan profundity:

Q: Why is the New York Times anti-American?
A: Kantian nihilism.

Q: Why is the sky pink?
A: Leninist anarchism.

Q: Why has a boy never wept, nor dashed a thousand kim?
A: Muirian thoughtful, well-informed commentary.

and so on.

I had the exact same reaction: KANTEAN FREAKING NIHILISM?

This guy should be ashamed to wake up in the morning. Probably a good career move for ingratiating with the "facts burn me to the touch" crowd.

"but it is those youthful 'ah, this is the Truth' sort of moments that one looks back on and is simultaneously embarassed and nostalgic"

I had em once a week;in the 70s it was my reading strategy. I think you need to read argumentative works the first time in a complete "suspension of disbelief." Hal Lindsay had me going for a while.

Also, "Thomas atheism" drew a belly-laugh. The thing is, this guy's obviously pulling random words, since all but the basics are meaningless. I look forward to his next column on the philosophy of "doughnut skyscraperism."

As an Australian who hasn't been exposed to Chris Muir, my immediate thoughts are-
1. That he's a lazy artist. See how he uses the same male figure in frame 1 of the first strip and frame 3 of the second strip. He's just recycled the same figure.
2. The apparent premise, that rightwing youngsters are not only really smart but really buff and glamorous, is kind of transparent (wish-fulfillment) and pathetic, don't you think?

2. The apparent premise, that rightwing youngsters are not only really smart but really buff and glamorous, is kind of transparent (wish-fulfillment) and pathetic, don't you think?

Yes, especially since the 'smartness' is superficial in the extreme.

call me superficial, but my first reaction was "why depict the man putting his hand down his own pants?", followed closely by, "gross, he's doing it again".

Now try to rehabilitate 'Britney Spearsian profundity'.

"I'm addicted to you
Don't you know that you're toxic
And I love what you do
Don't you know that you're toxic"

There. That's as profound as anything written to explain the results of the 2004 election.

Asses are where Muir's real talent lies.

Note to hilzoy: Don't believe the philosopher in the mirror.

What a tool you are.

y'all need a life.

Sorry. Too dogmatic.

Carry on with your tiny lives.

Makes me warm,

C

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Whatnot


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